Alabama has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of seasonal flu cases this week. As a result, we want to provide our employees with important information related to flu prevention, symptoms and resources that are available. If you are experiencing flu or flu-like illness — fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue — you are asked not to report for work. Please review additional information below.

 
Cold vs. Flu

While both flu and cold are respiratory illnesses that share similar symptoms, they differ in causation and the degree of symptoms. Typically, flu symptoms occur very suddenly and are generally more severe, as is the potential for associated complications. Common flu symptoms that are rare in cases of the common cold are fever, chills and headache. To definitively conclude which of the two illnesses is present, tests within the first few days of illness are required.

SYMPTOMS
  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

 
If you experience flu like symptoms...

UAB eMEDICINE

UAB eMedicine offers online clinical service at a discounted rate of $10 to employees and eligible dependents ages 18 to 65 who are enrolled in a UAB health plan. Log in 24/7, answer the interview questions, pay $10 and a board-certified clinician will respond within an hour between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Any needed prescriptions will be sent directly to your pharmacy. If symptoms are too complex or advanced, patients will be referred for additional care at no cost. 

UAB PATIENT PORTAL

Message your physician directly through the myUABMedicine patient portal. Your physician's clinical team may be able to coordinate a treatment course, including any needed prescriptions, without a visit to your physician's office.

 
Sick Leave

If you are experiencing symptoms or have the flu avoid coming to work. Eligible employees can use their accrued sick leave if out for the flu, even during their probationary period. View HR Policy 301 — Sick Time in it's entirety on the UAB Policies and Procedures Library.

 
Prevention

  • Wash your hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you are not near a sink use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay in bed: If you believe you have the flu or know that you have the flu, stay at home until you are better to avoid passing the virus along to others.
  • Get a flu shot: It's not too late. The flu shot is available at no change at the Kirklin Clinc flu clinic. UAB employees on a UAB healthcare plan can also receive a flu shot at no cost at participating pharmacies.

— Published Jan. 12, 2018